by Wole Soyinka
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
- Claude McKay
Festus Claudius “Claude” McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-American novelist and poet who played an important role in the Harlem Renaissance. In this sonnet, the speaker reveals his mixed feelings about living in "the land of the free."Pair “America” with “Telephone Conversation” and ask students to compare the speakers’ experiences in the two poems. How do the speakers describe their relationship with the environment and the people around them? How do they respond to the obstacles they face in their lives?
The Danger of a Single Story
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the importance of not allowing one story to construct your understanding of the world.Pair “The Danger of a Single Story” with “Telephone Conversation” and ask students to discuss how the poem might present an alternative story to the interaction between a racist person and the person being discriminated against for the color of their skin. Considering Adichie’s argument in regards to the danger of a single story, what would be the danger of only portraying victims of racism as passive rather than people who challenge discrimination by drawing attention to its absurdity?
Behind Closed Doors: 'Colorism' in the Caribbean
- Michel Martin
In the interview “Behind Closed Doors: ‘Colorism’ in the Caribbean,” Michel Martin discusses colorism in the Dominican Republic with Frances Robles.Pair “Behind Closed Doors: ‘Colorism’ in the Caribbean” with “Telephone Conversation” and ask students to discuss colorism. Do students think that the speaker’s interaction with the landlady in the poem is a form of colorism? Why or why not? How do both texts explore how people with darker skin tones are discriminated against more harshly than people with lighter skin?